Every time a Retreatshop kicks off and I look around the room at the women who’ve gathered, I have a moment when I pray that one of them will step up and teach instead of me. I’d love to sit quietly in the corner and have all expectations put upon another.
But no, they’ve come to receive what I have to give and despite my momentary trepidation, I always love what follows.
This past weekend’s gathering was especially wonderful. Everyone who came was incredibly engaged. There’s usually a moment when I try to call upon the person who hasn’t shared yet, but there wasn’t anybody in this group who didn’t speak up. They took to the day with reverence and curiosity.
As a teacher, you prepare your best and pray for flow to grace you.
And graced I was.
The feedback I received is wonderful and I’d love to share every last bit of their experience with you, but here’s one that really sums it up so well:
When I entered the glorious space Rachel had chosen for the Retreatshop, I had no idea what to expect. Sure, I’d been reading her blog for at least a year, and had decided to spend my Saturday in her hands based on her wise writing. However, I couldn’t have possibly imagined the extent of Rachel’s gentle intuition in an in-person group. As the hours flew by, I had the privilege of witnessing a group of women, including myself, tease out the hungers that they most crave. I watched Rachel’s face as she repeatedly closed her eyes and mulled over something someone had said with immense concentration; I knew that she was taking all of us as seriously, and with as much weight as we deserved. By the end, there were tears and laughter as I found myself on the path to feeding my hungers. Thank you, Rachel, for an experience I won’t forget. — Esmé Wang
There are six cities remaining on the tour (maybe seven, as several Bostonians are currently campaigning for a visit) and after this weekend, I simply can’t wait. Chicago, here I come.
Post-Retreatshop I almost always have end the day with a cocktail and dinner. Yes, Saturday night included such a celebration with dinner at Piccino, dessert at Chocolate Lab. But it was Sunday that really took the cake…or pie rather. I love pie. If you’ve been to a Retreatshop you know that after introducing yourself, sharing where you’re from and why you came, you have to share your favorite kind of pie.
I joke that I judge people based on their pie preferences. Heh.
Anyways, Sunday morning, still somewhat tired from the all-day teach-a-thon the day before, my man and I headed to Mission Pie. Oh yes. hot turkey pot pie and whipped cream topped apricot frangipan tart and apple-rhubarb pie.
If you want to make me happy, feed me pie.
::: MONDAY MORNING:::
I’m writing the book. Yes. Yes. Yes.
It’s an expect-the-unexpected process for sure.
Monday morning I spoke with the first of several book agents about the concept. My expectations were low. Very low. Perhaps as a means of self-preservation.
Turns out she loved it and “can’t imagine passing on it.”
Proposal due July 1st.
::: MONDAY NIGHT:::
My friend Britt isn’t having a birthday this week. She doesn’t have terminal cancer. She hasn’t won any awards or crossed any marathon finish lines.
The party, which took place Monday night, was just to simply celebrate her.
No other reason. No justification for the pomp and circumstance necessary.
Britt is wonderful. She is the kind of friend we all deserve: fiercely loyal, thoughtful, vibrant, full of brilliant wisdom, and deeply caring.
She’s also one of those people who’s awesomeness can fall under the radar. So we decided to throw her a party just to celebrate her.
We asked her to provide email addresses for anyone she’d like to have at her party and we took care of the rest.
One delicious indian feast, some good bubbly, lots and lots of laughter later and the night was pretty memorable.
We asked those who couldn’t make it to send kind and appreciative words which we put into a blank book. We had those who came to the party add to the book as well. On tiny slips of paper we wrote out a series of prompts…
- First word that comes to mind when you think about Britt…
- Do your best impersonation of Britt.
- Superlative you’d give to Britt:
- Happiest memory with Britt:
- Funniest memory with Britt:
- What I know for sure about Britt is…
- If I could steal one of Britt’s qualities I would take her…
- What’s Britt’s spirit animal and why?
We put the prompts in a bowl and passed it around during dinner and over dessert. As people answered, we captured their words too.
So much hilarity and tenderness ensued. Surely the night delighted Britt, but really, it filled the hearts of all who sat around that table.
Why don’t we do this more? Why don’t we celebrate for celebrations sake?
Gatherings like this are feasts for those of us hungry for connection, festivity, storytelling, and joy.
Nothing earth-shattering here today. Just three days in my life that filled me up. Body, mind, heart, and soul…and stomach.
What’s feeding you? What’s been the most well-fed day you’ve had recently? and always…What are you truly hungry for?
This past February I introduced the online course: Ease Hunting: Six Weeks of Discovering Every Exhale.
This powerful journey included lessons, live calls, an ease scavenger hunt, expert interviews, and two guided audio meditations all aimed at supporting the huntresses in discovering an easeful way of being, no matter what life was throwing their way. It was truly beautiful. One participants described it as “A yoga class for your mind.”
Spring is here and while the flowers may be blooming and the warmer weather lifting our spirits, I know that life is still challenging for many of us.
I woke up today wanting to support you in finding ease in your life right now. The Ease Hunting course won’t run again until later this year, but today I’m giving away the two Ease Hunting meditations.
These recordings, one for morning and one for evening, are simple 10 minute opportunities to recenter and rest. They were among the Ease Hunters favorite parts of their experience. Here are a few of their words:
“I’ve been using the PM mediation every day, and I’m going to keep using it. I loved that I could download the meditations onto my phone. That made it easy to listen to them on the go and also as I was falling asleep. Doing 15 minutes every day has definitely impacted my ease levels.”
“I liked having the meditations as a go-to if I needed them…when I did need them, they were both helpful and I’m grateful to have them as a tool in my toolbox. There was one morning in particular where I was fretting, and I said “ah, we have a tool for this: AM meditation.” I did it, and the fretting subsided and made way for some ease.”
If you’re needing a little more ease in your life or a supportive, simple way to start and end your day, here is my gift to you. To listen online, simply click the links. To download, hold down the option key and then click the links.
If you want to find out exactly when the next Ease Hunting course will commence, make sure you’re signed up on the list!
I was feeling really low this week and wanting to share a little behind the scenes development here and what it might mean for you.
Ticket sales for The Well-Fed Woman Retreatshop tour have been, to put it bluntly, dismal.
I wallowed for a good while. Telling myself I failed at marketing. Telling myself I wasn’t offering anything people wanted to buy. Telling myself to cancel the tour, put on my pajamas and call it a day…or year.
I sat perplexed. Last year had gone so well. I don’t understand.
Rachel created a bridge for me from a nebulous, semi-conscious hunger that I have to a visceral knowing of it. She gave me wonderful tools for honoring and feeding it, but more importantly, a framework for identifying and honoring my hungers in an ongoing way. Parts of me that have felt ignored or just plan unseen are feeling loved and hopeful and meaningfully connected to me because of Rachel’s work, and for that I’m deeply grateful.
I was awakened by my experience at the Retreatshop. Rachel helped me discover hungers I didn’t know I had and that really was an eye opening experience. She has an amazing way of taking what you thought was your hunger and really boiling it down. With her calm demeanor and truly caring soul, the few hours that I spent at the Retreatshop will be something I’ll never forget. I am excited to take what I learned and feed all of my hungers.
Last year most of the cities were sold out or near capacity. The feedback from participants was great and the one thing they asked I changed was the length. They wanted more. So I made this year’s events full day instead of three over-packed hours.
You might wonder why do I do this? Why do I choose to spend hours traveling the country to teach at these intimate gatherings? Here’s why:
Because I’ve yet to meet more than a handful of women who aren’t, in someway, alienated from their hungers.
Because getting a day away from the hubbub of life is awesome.
Because getting to spend day receiving, instead of taking care of others is medicine we need.
Because living life guided from within brings out peace, clarity, forward motion, confidence, and grounding.
Because when a woman is in deep communion with her hungers she can then be fully available to life and begin to truly feast.
This isn’t just about food. I know the metaphor-rich language I use might suggest this, but the truth is that this is about the hunger, or rather starvation, for touch, for rest, for play, for connection, for being seen, and more.
These are the reasons I know the Retreatshop experience is so vital.
And It’s true that I’ve heard across the board from many in my field that sales have been everything from flat to much slower this year.
But it doesn’t feel helpful to say “It’s the economy.” I don’t believe the price is too high for what I know this experience offers.
Last year, for the three hour experience, tickets cost a simple $100.
This year I’m more seasoned, the teachings have been refined, and attendees get over six hours of very intimate and personal time.
All this said, sales, are perhaps suggesting that the financial threshold is too high for many.
After much reflection, here’s what I’ve decided to do and what feels right in my heart and for my business:
For every full-price registration, attendees are invited to bring a friend for free.
Of course, each pair can split the single-ticket price up however they want.
If you’ve been on the fence and feeling like the ticket price is out of reach, I hope the invitation to find a friend and split it helps.
If you’re already registered, just send me an email with with full name and email address of the friend you’ll be bringing.
The remaining tour cities and dates are:
San Francisco – May 18th
Chicago – June 1st
Toronto – June 8th
Los Angeles – June 22nd
Vancouver – July 14th
Seattle – July 20th
Arlington – October 12th
Alameda – November 2nd
As always, I’d love to meet you there.
Rachel holds the space beautifully for her participants. She brought her wisdom and intuition, and years of actual experience, so we knew we were in safe hands. There’s so much kindness and grace to how she teaches. I feel calmer just being in her presence. She has a real gift.
I left the retreatshop in awe. What an experience to be in a relationship with my hungers. I’ll say it again: my hungers. It feels powerful to say that phrase because I had a chance to really connect with a group of amazing, brave, real women led by the graceful hunger-whisperer Rachel W. Cole herself. Rachel creates an experience that is pure magic and I am still quaking from the after effects.
*If the Retreatshop includes a paid lunch, guests of paid-attendees must pay for the lunch as well.
These days pinterest abounds with images of softly lit, sunrise horizons with “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” emblazoned across a mountainside. Or perhaps it’s a glistening ocean behind text that says “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
I believe life begins INSIDE of our comfort zones and only when we feel safe enough to stretch out does life (and our comfort zone) expand.
I am simply a huge fan of everyone feeling safe and I think safety has become linked up with weakness.
However, I have seen how safety allows us to blossom.
I believe that feeling safe is a prerequisite for connection, learning, relationship, growth, and for feeding our hungers.
The only time I have ever been able to heal or grow is when I first felt safe.
The only times I’ve been able to hear my own hungers calling for me is when I created a safe space for them.
The only times when I’ve been able to ask another to feed me is when I feel safe with them.
It’s true that we often want or need to do things that aren’t safe or don’t feel safe.
Taking the stage. Quitting the job. Asking someone out on a date. Trying something new and unknown.
It’s my experience though, that we have to feel a level of safety first.
It’s also my experience that women tolerate lives, situations, and relationships in which they are not safe to be who they are, want what they want, and say what they think and feel. This needs to change.
Needing safety does not a weak woman make.
It’s okay to value safety. In fact, it’s imperative.
It’s okay to ask someone to create a safer space for you. It’s okay to remove yourself when you don’t feel safe.
When we feel safe enough, we can sail away from the harbor.
I’ll leave you with a few questions for us to ponder:
Where in my life don’t I feel safe?
What factors create a sense of safety for me?
What would change if I felt a greater level of safety to be who I am, want what I want, and say what I think and feel?
Who don’t I feel safe around?
Who could I offer more safety to?
How could I offer myself more safety from which I could try new things?
Where am I pushing myself too far outside of my safety zone?
May we all be safe so we can soar.
Join me at one of the upcoming Well-Fed Woman Retreatshops!
I took April off of work.
I went to meet my nephew in Germany and on April 17th, 36 hours after my pain landed back on U.S. soil, I had my tonsils removed. No surprise, it’s been painful to talk.
During the recovery I learned to communicate with made up hand signs, scribbles on paper, and flash cards I’d prepared that said things like “Pain!” and “Thank you!”
Now May has rolled around, the pain has faded and speaking has becoming more effortless.
Eating with abandon has come back too. Hallelujah!
But my life isn’t just about speaking to my loved ones or being able to talk to the check out clerk at the grocery store.
I teach. I write. I communicate as part of my sacred vocation.
Being away last month and getting out of practice ‘speaking’ to you has left me feeling rusty. I could hear that all too common voice that says “What do you have to say that’s original? Look, there are all these other people saying the same thing as you. What makes you think anyone wants to hear your version? No one even noticed you were gone.”
In my experience, most of us know what this is like, even if we don’t have a blog and or teach in a classroom.
It’s simply not always easy to feel into the importance or worthiness of our voice.
Here is the perspective I use respond to these questioning voices:
I’ve read just about every book there is on the topic of eating disorders and making peace with our body and food. Seriously. I have.
Many of them say the same things and yet, for no logical or specific reason, only a few have really spoken to me. It’s not that they were better written, it’s simply that I needed to hear the information from one author and could not from another.
Have you had this experience? Two books that say the same thing and only one speaks to you?
Or a friend raves about a book that changed her life but it falls flat for you.
Perhaps there is a blogger out there that ‘everyone’ raves about but who’s voice does not connect with you.
Maybe you’ve had a group of people in your life each give you the same advice, but it was one single person who was able to get through to you.
It’s not logical and I don’t need to understand why this is the way things are.
I simply know that each voice matters and that my voice is the voice that will connect with someone out there when others do not.
This is true for your voice too. Whether it’s a book you want to write, a speech you want to give, or a truth you want to share with your best friend – it matters that YOU share it.
Your voice is like your thumbprint. It has a uniqueness that no one can match and it has the power to carry healing, change, and beauty into a world that needs these them.
Our voice won’t be heard by all. It won’t even be received positively all the time. It will rarely, if ever, be perfect.
I simply ask myself, what if Geneen Roth had never written Women, Food, & God because she thought that most of the content had already been written about by others? What if Brene Brown didn’t give her initial TedX talk because she thought to herself “Would anyone care if I didn’t show up?”
This perspective is what allows me to, often without finesse, begin to speak, teach, and write again. This is what allows me to hush those fearful voices. I have a deep faith that some people need to hear the wisdom I share from my voice in order for it to have an impact.
I have faith the same is true for you.
Join me at one of the upcoming Well-Fed Woman Retreatshops!
Our hungers are an eternal spring of wisdom and answers.
I wish I’d known this when I was younger, it would have saved me so much strife and anguish.
If I had known, I wouldn’t have have pursued answers, fruitlessly I might add, in so many places outside of myself.
If I had known that the well of wisdom was ceaseless and within myself I would not have sought to silence it.
It, this eternal spring, asked for simple things from me. It asked for human embrace. It asked for carbs – bread, pasta, and the like. It asked for permission to simply be. to be heard. to be listened to.
My spring of hungers asked for rest. and play. My spring of hungers said “Let our body be! Let it be soft. Let our body be whatever it wants to be.”
My spring of hunger said “Let others love us” and “Let’s love us.”
And it was the courageous act of yielding, of listening, of honoring that I allowed me to live my way into a very well-fed woman.
The path has not been linear. Going from relating to my hungers as enemies to being in deep communion with them has been a practice. It has, at times, been moment to moment and day by day. But over time it has become second nature.
This Way of The Well-Fed Woman, as I call it, has liberated me and over the past several years I’ve been lucky enough to witness it do the same for so many others.
I want this for every hungry woman out there. I want so much to live in a world where women trust their hungers, no matter how big they are or and live lives created from this guidance within.
In the spring 2004 I attended a large women’s reproductive rights march in Washington, DC. As we gathered, plackets in hand, Hillary Clinton on the microphone, I overheard a conversation between a few women who were standing next to me.
One woman said “What do you want to do for lunch?” The other replied “Oh, I’m skipping lunch this week. I’ve been so bad and need to slim down.” To which her replied with a chipper “Oh, okay!”
The only part of this story that has to do with food is that our relationship with food mirrors our relationship with all of our hungers.
Instead of her hunger for lunch, this woman could have just as easily been ignoring her hunger for creativity, or touch, or adventure. This is what so many of us do and I’m not here to claim that feeding ourselves is easy. Well, it’s not easy at first.
Aftercall, how do hear what we’re hungry for?
How do know if what we’re hearing is our “true” hunger?
And once we hear it, what we do? How do we actually take a hunger, especially the big ones, and feed it?
I teach the answers to these questions. I equip hungry women with the tools, frameworks, practices, and love that it takes to live the Way of The Well-Fed Woman.
Someone asked me recently, “What does ‘being well-fed’ mean?” Kind of like when you say a word ten times fast it starts to sound funny. I say “well-fed” a whole lot and I totally get if it starts to sound like mumbo jumbo.
If this metaphor has felt elusive for you, perhaps my words here today have shed some clarity.
Being well-fed means believing 1) that your hungers are wise and serve as a compass pointing to what is needed now for you to be most fulfilled, 2) you are worthy of having your hungers fed, 3)that when you are well-fed you can be engaged in and most of service to the world, and 4) that a world full of well-fed people, especially women, would be a radically better place than the one we live in today.
If you believe these tenets, then your eternal spring is ready and waiting to guide you. You are ready to feast. If you believe these tenets and are hungry for support and guidance, I’m here.
Happy (eternal) springtime to all.
Join me at one of the upcoming Well-Fed Woman Retreatshops!
All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s post comes from the wild and brilliant Julie Daley.
My well-fed life moves and flows with the erotic: the impulse, the beat, and the breath of life. The erotic is what spring does to cherry trees, as Pablo Neruda wrote of, or ‘the force that through the green fuse drives the flower’ that Dylan Thomas wrote about so beautifully. It’s what is at the heart of creation, the urge to bring forth something new into being.
For me, being well fed is the lived experience where the numinous meets matter; spirit becomes human, and life dances in this woman’s body. Well fed happens when I am in a healthy, open, trusting relationship with life. It’s not always that way, but it’s more often that way now in my life that it ever has been in the past. It’s taken me years to come to trust life; years of a lot of deep healing work, personal growth courses, and traveling to different parts of the world where things are completely different than what I had experienced; years of guiding others to do the same; and, years of raising children, and now being a grandchildren to four beautiful souls. It doesn’t have to take these things. These are simply what have brought me to this profoundly humbling relationship with life. Life brings you exactly what it takes to wake you up to trusting life, to giving yourself to life, to living life as this vital creative force.
Consider this beautiful banana flower, above. It is completely erotic… to look at, to touch, and to smell. The cells of this blossom are full of life force. I took this picture while at a ten-day camp on Molokai. Each day a group of us worked around the grounds of this retreat site, doing jobs such as planting native plants, painting and staining, working in the organic garden, tending the orchard, and taking care of the cottages.
Each morning, I walked the orchard picking up fruit the trees had released. As I walked past each one, I would check for any fruit that looked ripe, and then give each one a little pull to see if the tree would let go. While each fruit appeared to be completely ripe, pulled down toward the earth by the weight of its flesh, the tree didn’t necessarily let go. The tree knew when the time was right and ripe. And, even when the tree hadn’t let go, sometimes the fruit would drop overnight due to heavy winds blowing through the orchard. Sometimes it would be the tree itself, and sometimes it would be life outside of the tree causing the fruit to drop.
As I noticed this, I could see the correlation in my life. I, too, am this fruit tree. I, too, am in a continual cycle of creation and creativity. All of nature is conspiring to aid me in coming to fruition. Sometimes I feel like I am ready, and I might even push to try to make things happen. Yet, just like the tree, when the fruit is not ready, it doesn’t fall. And sometimes, other forces in my life, like the overnight winds, come to bear on my creations, causing them to come forth when I don’t expect it.
What I’ve come to see is that I am fed and nourished by deep gravity; by how it feels to be here fully, leaning in to life. When I soften and exhale, and really allow the earth to hold me, I can feel the green fuse moving through me, I can feel spring doing to me what it does to cherry trees.
For me, this is what feeds me. Everything flows from this relationship to life and the earth. And, from this relationship with life, all other relationships flow. When I am not relating to life, I am not relating to myself, nor can I relate to others.
Hungering and thirsting are visceral feelings for the body. And in a similar way, they are for the soul. In the past, one of the ways I avoided being here, was to nourish myself with transcendence, with a kind of fullness that is also empty. It worked for a while, but then I could feel a kind of sadness and grief in my soul. Something was calling me to come more deeply into life, into the here and now. This takes vulnerability. This has been the hardest part of my journey, trusting that as I age, deep gravity is pulling me closer and closer to the earth, to a sensual relationship with life that exposes the sweetest nectar and most succulent flesh.
Life is erotic by nature. So are we. I know I am Eros embodied. The very same force that pulses through everything, including this beautiful banana blossom, pulses through me. That pulse is impulse. It is hunger for touch and a thirst for beauty. Sometimes, it is a raging river, and other times it slows to a trickle.
It can sound esoteric, and on one level it is, yet it is also very practical. In real life, it is Being in motion, where what I am continually creates itself over and over to feed the hunger of the soul to know itself anew.
This is creativity.
This is wholeness.
This is feeding Self with our own sustenance.
Nothing will ever be as nourishing, or as satisfying, as this.
A dancer at heart, Julie Daley would love nothing more than to live her life and do her work from the dance floor. Ten years in the practice of 5Rhythms has opened her to the joy and wildness that is at the heart of women’s creativity. A writer, teacher, coach, and yes, dancer, Julie savors life playing with her wee grandchildren & serving the women and men who are called to work with her. Julie is happiest when she is breathing through her feet.
Rachel’s Note: Julie takes the MOST amazing photographs of flowers. Follower her on Instagram @juliedaley
All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s post comes from the solid and savvy Mara Glatzel.
There was never anything overtly wrong with my life.
I had a pretty face. I got a couple of fancy degrees. I drove a new car. I had a dream-like wedding to someone wonderful.
I could have been happy in that life – with my credit cards paid off in full every month, and commute to work with to-go cups of coffee and light road rage. I was the kind of little kid who dreamed about the “real jobs” that “real people” had.
I came from a family of artists and writers, and all I wanted was a 401K.
During this time my body was my ultimate project, and eating to shove down any acceptable feeling was my ultimate self-love tool.
As much as I loathed the skin I was in, working on it made me feel like I was doing something. I lost and gained weight, with purpose.
All the while, when I said I hated my body, it was because I didn’t have the vocabulary to describe the incredible boredom I experienced living my life as though it was a series of events happening to me. I didn’t have the words to describe my deep hunger for being lit up from the inside out.
I knew how to say, “I feel fat.”
I did not know how to say, “I want a huge, exciting, and adventurous life, filled with friends, hot romance, and big words.” Whenever I thought about that yearning, it was as if it was blacked out like the sensitive information in a classified document. As if, preoccupied by my fear about whether or not I was deserving of that kind of a life, I didn’t have the security clearance to access my hungers.
Until, bubbling up out of my deep craving: I want to feel really good.
I was lying in bed in a hotel room in Vermont at 6 am looking at the ceiling. I had been crying for four days straight. I was supposed to be relaxing, but, instead, I had been fighting with myself about getting a job.
I asked myself: If this is the last year of your life – do you really want to look for a social work job?
Ok. Then what?
In that moment, I realized that I had never truly asked myself what I wanted to do next.
Up until that point, I had allowed my life to pick me, wandering around from opportunity to opportunity fairly happy, but without any intention about the life I was creating for myself. My life was good, but it wasn’t mine, persay. It was the kind of life that you get when you have pretty good luck, but never actively engage.
I want to make my own schedule.
I want to work for myself. I want to build beautiful things. I want to feel inspired. I want to make a habit out of expanding my threshold for experiencing joy. I want to help people. I want to help myself. I want to feel like my life is mine.
You just paid $120,000 for your education. You have to become a social worker.
In that moment, I realized that there are very few things in your life that you actually have to do. I started crying, but this time with tears of relief.
My well-fed life is built upon a foundation of radical self-responsibility.
For a long time, I thought that my important work was improving my body image. I spent my time writing about it, thinking about it constantly. But, that was one half of the story.
The other half was quietly repairing the undercurrent of boredom – the deep yearning that I hadn’t really had the words to describe. It was the work of cultivating a relationship with myself.
It took one choice: if this is the last year of my life, I want to feel good.
Then, the floodgates opened. I wanted to choose everything.
Short socks instead of tall socks. Hot coffee, even in the summer. Horizontal stripes, always. Time to pray. Time to read. Sweating over stretching. Sleeping late without guilt. Time alone.
My well-fed life is a series of well intentioned choices, and a relaxed relationship with outcome. Experimental.
My well-fed life is fueled by doing what I say that I’m going to do. Showing up. Dressing up. Talking fast and embracing my love of idioms.
My well-fed life is filled with active decisions, carefully curated experiences, and replacing that undercurrent of boredom with one of languid joy seeking. It is brimming with intuitive hits, and no thank you, I’ve got a really important date to keep – with myself conversations.
Now, when I imagine how I truly want to live my life, I imagine a dinner party at dusk on a warm day. Underneath the sparkling lights in a lush garden, there is a long table with many seats, each seat occupied by someone that I love with my whole heart. In the dream, I’m having a fantastic time at the party – laughing deeply in my belly and feeling lit up from somewhere deep in my core.
Everywhere I look things are growing and sparkling and cozy in their place.
Each seat is occupied by one of my many parts. Each part feels welcome and loved.
Mara Glatzel is a life-coach and the creator of the Body Loving Homework E-Course. She works with brave women looking to chase what lights them up, and cultivate deeply satisfying lives. In creating this sacred space for women to thrive, she’s bringing a masters in clinical social work, her spot-on intuition, and the lessons picked up along the way as she built a relationship with herself grounded in self-trust. Catch up with her on facebook, twitter, or join her body-loving mailing list for secret swapping and insider news.
All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s post comes from my fabulous writing teacher Laurie Wagner.
A couple of weeks ago, David Bowie put out a new record, which is a big deal in the music industry. The man is 66-years-old, a legend, a huge rock star. I’d heard an interview with a member of his band a few days before the record launched, and the interviewer asked, “What earlier record is this new one like?” I found myself hoping he’d say The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust or Hunky Dory – two of my favorite Bowie records from the 70’s. But this band member only said that it was the best record Bowie had ever made.
So when the album came out on iTunes this week, I checked it out, hoping to hear songs that would take me back to 1976 and tanning by the pool in Palm Springs with my friend Marcie. Those were some days. I was 16 years old, had long brown hair, and wore bikinis. Boys liked me and I loved music; a doorway into a rich place full of feelings that I couldn’t yet articulate, but which I knew promised me access to a deeper part of myself.
But when I listened to this new album, I didn’t hear anything resembling the Bowie I had loved. Instead I heard the crooning stuff he’s been putting out in the last few years – not my cup of tea.
Here’s the thing: I don’t know what Bowie was thinking when he put out the record, but his band mate told the interviewer that Bowie makes the kind of music that’s coming through him.
I didn’t get the Bowie album I wanted – but if what his band mate said is true, and Bowie responded to the music coming through him, then Bowie made the best album ever, because as a creative person, hearing and responding to your own music is everything to your deeper success and ultimate joy, and the only way to do anything authentic and sustaining.
Hungry For the Sound of My Own Music
Of course, I’m not just talking about music – I’m talking about all the juicy juju that comes through us when we follow our instinct and imagination: ideas for projects, colors we’re drawn to, clothes we want to wear, friends we suddenly want to be in touch with. It has a lot to do with saying yes to ourselves, yes to what’s moving through us.
We train for this at the Wild Writing table, where our job is simply to be a channel for the words that are coming through us: bad words, silly words, potty-mouth words, words that don’t make sense, words that we’ve never spoken before. I invite the women I work with not to reject a word or thought that is presented to them, not to try and find a “better” thought or a “better” word. If they do, I tell them, their writing will go south. When we write or make art, we’re in partnership with the creative unconscious, and if we ask for its help but reject what is offered, it stops working for us.
If we follow our desire, our instincts, what we hear, what we’re hungry for, our whole earthly vibration rises. We might actually hear ourselves humming. That’s the music inside of us getting louder. That’s us tuning into our own unique and glorious frequency. The only thing we have to do is start listening and be brave enough to act on what we hear.
And here’s the icing on the cake – when we’re walking around the planet vibrating as the creative animals that we are, more people, more ideas, projects and opportunities will come to us because we’re easier to spot. The best way for people and ideas to find us is when we’re lit up. And we light ourselves up by following what moves us, what brings us joy.
Creativity chooses us, but we have to be listening for it. When I look at anything I’ve created, it’s all rooted in what I love – not what I think other people will love.
And so I have to think that’s what Bowie did when he was making his latest album – and why he’s still making music - 83 albums and 44 years later. I don’t have to love it. What matters is that Bowie can still hear the sound of his own music. Lucky, lucky Bowie.
Laurie Wagner is a writer, creative writing coach, author of 7 published books and numerous magazine articles, creator of the 27 powers Traveling Writers series, Wild Writing classes, Telling True Stories ecourse and the new digital daily drip 27 Days: Writing Prompts to Grow Your Powers. She lives in the Bay Area and can be found at www.27powers.org
All month long I’m featuring other wise women sharing about their well-fed lives.
Today’s poetic post comes from the secret weapon of many mavens: Jac McNeil.
she sits on the rocks of the rough Atlantic coast
feeling her heart sync with the pounding of each wave
she knows she is home
she sneaks under the covers next to her sleeping daughters
enveloped by the soft rhythm of their breathing
she knows she is safe
she laughs with him until they’re both gasping for air
wiping tears from their eyes
she knows she is well loved
she drops to her knees with the pain of losses long past
and the acceptance of what lies ahead
she knows she has loved well
she closes her eyes and turns her face toward the stars
her hungers have been well-fed
she knows she has lived well
Jac McNeil is a certified and credentialed professional coach and a self-leadership expert. Her work helps women entrepreneurs unearth their own powerful business truths so they can do more of the work they love and feel called to do. She is the creator of the business building program In Your Element and her work has helped hundreds of women thrive in business and life. She lives in Fall River, Nova Scotia with her husband Matt, little girls Sophie and Emilie and their Bernese Mountain Dog, Guinness. You can learn more about her here and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.